The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has opened up on how he’s tackling insecurity in Abia State, highlighting on this interview with DAILY POST Editor, Adoyi Abah Ali and Felicity of Information Central the methods his authorities has employed to deal with the nationwide insecurity.

Ikpeazu on this interview reveals how he has reworked the industrial metropolis of Aba from a sleeping to a industrial big, in an effort in direction of a complete commercialization and industrialization of Abia State (The Kinetic Abia)

Excerpts:

Thanks very a lot for the chance and congratulations in your anniversary. I wish to begin this dialog from the safety state of affairs within the nation in the intervening time. It’s a nationwide problem however in latest occasions, there was a spike in locations like Abia and Imo States. What are you doing to assist tackle this?

I wish to place it on file that we don’t actually have a safety state of affairs that’s as dangerous as what we expertise presently in different elements of the nation, particularly, the frontline states within the northeast, however that isn’t to say that the insecurity state of affairs in Nigeria isn’t obvious. Attempting to color the current state of affairs within the Southeast or Abia with the identical brush is not going to be precisely truthful. Now having mentioned that, responding on to your query about my State, Abia is among the states within the Southeast, and our problem principally is attempting to deal with some individuals who really feel aggrieved over imbalance, those that really feel cheated by the federal authorities. This has led to some assaults.

However this problem has been majorly directed at establishments and legislation enforcement infrastructures and personnel. Abnormal folks, businessmen, and merchants should not instantly impacted however we wish complete peace and safety as no one will probably be pleased to do enterprise when bullets are flying everywhere. It doesn’t matter who the goal is, so for us right here, what we attempt to do is to to start with be sure that we deploy gatekeepers, deep into our communities, getting items of knowledge round actions of individuals which are unusual and strange and we now have arrange a construction that may resolve this shortly.

Once more we give advisory primarily based on the curiosity we now have. We advise our folks on what to do and what to not do by means of public enlightenment. We simply got here again from a 17 native authorities tour, which concerned conventional leaders, church leaders, youth leaders, hunters, farmers, merchants, and everybody throughout native governments. The dialogue is why are we pouncing on ourselves? Why are we doing this? Why are we placing the issues on a extra critical scale?
I feel that the problem of our nation continues to be depending on three issues which embody injustice, ethnicity and faith. It’s nonetheless depending on these items and I’ve folks that perceive the problems higher than myself and I feel they’ve been doing the needful.

It nonetheless stays a collective factor. If each different Governor does what they’re anticipated to do of their states, this might be addressed on time, what do you assume?

Sure, however strategically talking, I feel that on the nationwide stage, how fast is their response to the problem? I’m undecided it’s adequate.

Nonetheless speaking on the safety points, there’s a curfew from 6pm to 6am. Do you propose to maintain this indefinitely? What are your plans? At the very least, there needs to be nightlife.

There needs to be life for there to be nightlife and the right way to transfer on. We are attempting to guard life and property earlier than now you can make a selection on whether or not to be regular or to do your issues within the day, so the curfew is our effort to answer the challenges which are prevalent right here.

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That is indefinite?

It isn’t indefinite so to talk, it’s simply to say that if there may be an enchancment, we are going to take different selections. This will probably be primarily based on the suggestions we get. If by this night we get info that we should always raise, we’ll raise, however that Abia State is on the centre of seven states, a few of the states are within the South-South, some are within the Southeast, so being on the confluence provides us benefit, however on this case, it’s a drawback. No matter occurs in a few of these states instantly or not directly impacts us. So we’re all the pieces. Each particular person in management place ought to naturally prioritize safety points. We must always undertake fast and clever motion. Choices round safety shouldn’t be issues primarily based on what the newspapers are saying or what the web is saying. I feel selections needs to be primarily based on what I feel we have to do to guard lives and property.

Let’s speak about COVID-19. We went spherical city immediately and there’s no carrying of face masks, no social distancing. I wish to ask you as the person on the helm of affairs, what’s the state doing on the subject of COVID-19 prevention measures, vaccination drives and others? Are folks even quarantined?

Sure, our numbers and statistics are reported each day to NCDC and are revealed. The residents of the nation are affected by fatigue, that’s one. Two, there are legal guidelines that govern the system, a few of them are pure and common. When you find yourself pressed economically and I feel I had the privilege of talking on this once I attended a World Financial institution assembly in Washington DC and the dialog we had was round environmentally pleasant methods of manufacturing, decreasing the carbon dioxide and ensuring the ozone layer is protected, and I mentioned to them that in Africa, we’re predominantly hungry. We’re on the lookout for a approach to even produce what we eat, so our emphasis isn’t the right way to do it a greater means, it’s simply the right way to do it. So individuals are pressed on all sides immediately, the financial system is dangerous amid insecurity. So as a result of they need to survive, the COVID-19 challenge has change into secondary. Whether or not it’s proper or mistaken is a matter for dialogue, however when you’re speaking to any person, you must watch out about how the particular person responds, so that it’ll not be a case of taking a horse to the river and the horse refuses to drink.

However in your capability because the Governor and seeing what is occurring, is there one thing that you’re doing to encourage Abia folks to respect a few of these protocols put in place, what about Vaccination for Abians?

Actually, we’re doing all the pieces to sensitize and ask state-based leaders and Abia boys to do the advocacy for us, however I say to you that the individuals are involved about what to eat. They’ve gone as much as start to assume on the right way to be protected and put meals on the desk, that wouldn’t cease authorities from doing what authorities desires to do. However I’ve to carry to the fore that success or in any other case on this battle towards COVID-19 relies upon really on the power of the residents to take duty for his or her security. You don’t inform an grownup to go away from the solar, we thought it is going to get to some extent the place folks must take heed to the protocols due to their well being and their family members.

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For the vaccine, as a subnational authorities, we’re depending on how a lot of the vaccine that had been delivered to Abia State and for our folks. I used to be pleased immediately that once I went to church, it was marketed they usually went into particulars of which class of individuals ought to first be vaccinated, ranging from the medical and frontline officers, enforcement officers, those that are continuously interfacing with others and people inside a sure age bracket.

Your administration has three years extra. Are you glad to date with the goal you set for your self in infrastructure, particularly concerning roads?

I’m not unhappy about the place we’re, however I feel we simply must preserve the tempo going. Between 2015 and now, I’ve been attempting to redefine governance. First, no two states are the identical. The issues that confront our states range and the methods to deal with identical range. So it’s my expectation that any authorities at inception should be capable of assemble a pathway that may result in the technique that may be adopted beneath the circumstance. That was why, right here in 2015, we set a goal for ourselves on 5 pillars – commerce and commerce, Small and Medium Scale enterprises, Agriculture and schooling. And attempting to push these pillars, we wanted to develop what I might name enablers. What are these issues that may allow these pillars? The actual fact immediately that you just had been shifting round Aba and received caught within the visitors reveals that one thing is occurring. It reveals that life has returned to this place. It reveals that companies have returned. Which you can see Dominos, Rooster Republic and others reveals we’re again on observe. In the event you had come right here prior to now, you’d have had a clearer image of what it was again then. The truth that Golden Guinea has come again to life, the truth that we now have arrange a footwear manufacturing facility, the truth that we’re nearly on the verge of establishing a garment manufacturing facility, it implies that we’re particular and intentional about doing one thing within the garment and leather-based sub-sectors. We have now enabled commerce and commerce in some way. That Abia final month or two months in the past got here third in international direct funding implies that we now have executed one thing.

The issue we now have at all times had as a rustic is the problem of continuity and sustainability. Are you this since you’ve just some years in workplace? Does this not fear you?

Many of the roads you noticed immediately are rigid-based roads. What you see is the asphalt overlay however beneath it’s cement. These roads can keep for 40 years. However we didn’t cease at that. We have now arrange what we name Youth Highway Upkeep Corps. As I converse, a few of the youths are present process coaching. Any more, highway upkeep will probably be within the fingers of the youths native authorities by native authorities. The agenda is nothing however to run operation zero portholes. That is one instance of a few of the establishments we are attempting to arrange. We even have Abia Highway Infrastructural Upkeep Company. Earlier than I got here in, there was no avenue gentle right here, however immediately we now have over 2000 avenue lights in Aba. Additionally, you will discover the planted grasses on the center of the highway. That was not the case prior to now. There’s an company manned by our youths that may preserve these items. So we’re regularly establishing buildings that may comply with up with the upkeep of all Abia tasks.

To Be CONTINUED…

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